Forum Programme & FAQs


Over a packed, but fun-filled two days, we will engage in discussions with the best and brightest voices on activism, hear testimonies from inspirational individuals who have shown remarkable courage in standing up to power, develop our campaigning and advocacy skills and meet the next generation of people who can change the world.

The programme will be a mix of plenaries, town halls and lightning talks with interactive activities on the sidelines and will feature artists, scientists, activists and students. Participants will learn about strategic activism, culture and change, how to talk about today’s big challenges and working with different coalitions. The conference will include some lessons from our own activism to ban nuclear weapons but will pull in leaders from other movements to provide students and activists of all ages a broader understanding of activism in our time.



Download the full program here (PDF)


Day 1: 14 February 2020, 

09:30-10:30 Welcome

Opening remarks by ICAN and ICAN France.

“The Light in Dark Times”  

A conversation with Hiroshima-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow and indigenous community organizer Leona Morgan about their struggle and how to never give up fighting for a better world.


10:45 - 12:00  So You Wanna Change the World? How to be an Activist

This plenary session will address how you target different decision-makers to create change. How do you identify who you need to influence and how? What tactics can you use? This session will bring together activists from racial justice, peace and climate movements to share lessons from their work and talk strategy.


Therese Nordhus Lien, Norwegian People’s Aid 


Catherine Killough, Women Cross DMZ 

Linnea Håkansson, Fatta 

Karlene Griffiths Sekou, Black Lives Matter 

Fabio Bugelli, Youth for the Climate France


13:30 - 14:15 Nuclear Weapons 101 - risks, consequences and solution

Nuclear weapons may be decades old, but the threats they pose to the world are still very real. This expert briefing will bring you up to speed on how many nuclear weapons are out there, what they do and why we need to get rid of them.


Seth Shelden, ICAN



Julie Tenenbaum, International Committee of the Red Cross 

Alan Robock, Rutgers University

Rebecca Johnson, Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy


14:30 - 15:30 Break out sessions:

Detoxing from Deterrence and Other Lies - Town hall 

This interactive session will expose the constructed framework that people in power make to justify nuclear weapons. We’ll go over the military-industrial, patriarchal and neo-colonialist arguments to keep nukes -- and how you can fight back against them.



Alicia Sanders-Zakre, ICAN 



Lovely Umayam, Bombshelltoe 

Kjølv Egeland, University of Paris  

Marissa Conway, Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy


Let’s Get Down to Business - Workshop

This interactive session will bring together parliamentarians, mayors and investors to have a conversation with participants about how to make change happen, what works and what doesn’t work when you lobby decision-makers. 



Daniel Högsta, ICAN


Workshop speakers:

Philippe Rio, Mayor of Grigny 

Lisa Clark, Co-President for the International Peace Bureau

Mounir Satouri, Member of the European Parliament, France

Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm, ICAN

Maaike Beenes, PAX



16:00 - 17:15 “The Best Art Is Political” 

Art and culture have always been key drivers of change and influencers on how we see society. We are gathering talented artists to discuss how art can be used as a social justice tool.


Beatrice Fihn, ICAN


Phil Hatcher-Moore, independent photojournalist

Smriti Keshari, artist-in-residence with the National Theatre in London and Pioneer Works in New York

Jean-Phillipe Kalonji, artistic resident at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva

Lovely Umayam, Bombshelltoe


We will be organizing a social event in the evening. More information in your participants' guide.


Day 2: 15 February 2020, 9:00 - 17:30


10:00- 11:30 Fight the Power!

Those in power benefit from the status quo. We are bringing together trailblazing activists that know how it feels to go up against some of the most powerful actors in the world, such as the military, the patriarchy, big businesses, and colonial powers. They’ll talk about how they’ve challenged established narratives that seek to prevent change. 


12:00 - 13:00 Break out sessions:

Talking about the End of the World 

It’s hard to talk about existential threats to the public. Whether its killer robots, climate change or nuclear weapons, these big challenges can feel immobilizing. In this interactive session, professional communicators on existential threats will discuss how they do what they do and answer your questions.


Lucero Oyarzún, ICAN


Jason Wojciechowski, Corelab

Tuva Krogh Widskjold, ICAN Norway

Magnus Lovold, International Committee of the Red Cross


Assembling Your Team

Activism is a team sport. How do you work with different groups, like scientists, students, faith leaders, or unions to engage them on your work? This workshop will bring together representatives from these groups and activists.


Jean-Marie Collin, ICAN France 

Workshop speakers:

Alan Robock, Rutgers University

Bernard Norlain, Retired General

Anne Balzer, ICAN Germany


14:30 - 16:00 The Future of Activism 

Activists around the world are making change on issues they care about. In the final session of the conference, we will hear from the climate movement, professional NGOs and single-issue coalitions to learn about different pathways to change. 


Sylvie Brigot, Amnesty International France 

Chaja Merk, Extinction Rebellion

Laura Boillot, Article 36

16:00 - 16:40 Closing Session

“Hiroshima Monster Girl”, Performance by Sachiko Hara

Concluding words from Beatrice Fihn, ICAN and Jean-Marie Collin, ICAN-France

Purpose of the Forum:


Right now, we are witnessing a wave of activism, protest and political campaigning around the world. With the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons winning the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work to build a movement to ban nuclear weapons and millions of people marching for climate change, gender equality and justice, this moment in time could be a unique moment for campaigning and activists to mobilize for concrete political change.


A new generation of activists are aiming to influence the political narrative but how can marches and protests further develop into movements that change political decisions, laws and policies?


Past successes in the fields of disarmament, human and civil rights demonstrate the power of an engaged public, unified behind a clear cause with an actionable agenda, in achieving changes to government policy. The ICAN Paris Forum will bring together activists, students, campaigners and anyone interested in changing the world to discuss and learn about movement building, political change and activism.


Who is the ICAN Paris Forum for? 

Activists, students, campaigners and anyone interested in changing the world to discuss and learn about movement building, political change and activism. 


How do I register? 

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